Mining and violence in Latin America: The state’s coercive responses to anti-mining resistance


The expansion of mining and conflict violence are closely related phenomena, but there is widespread variation in the coercive responses state actors embrace to subdue resistance to mining. To explain this variation, we emphasize the interplay of motives (incentives) and opportunities (enabling conditions) available to state actors. Contrasting previous approaches, we provide a cross national analysis on the determinants of coercive responses for all Latin American countries. Our analysis also considers various forms of violent and non-violent coercive responses by the state. Our results support a motive-based explanation":" state actors adopt coercive responses when the mobilizing capacity of communities as shown by indigenous involvement is the strongest, and when the economic potential of mining properties as indicated by their lootability is the highest. Our findings have implications for the expansion of extractive activities beyond mining.

In World Development 173(1)
Camilo Nieto-Matiz
Camilo Nieto-Matiz
Assistant Professor of Political Science